War Poet.ca - A CFAP Project by Suzanne Steele

To Young Infantrymen Training for Afghanistan

On lines by Gerard Manley Hopkins

I wake and feel the start of a dark-not day.
These hours with you, infantrymen, spent.
Nights. Days. Tinned in LAV belly. Her heart bent
to morrow’s desert, the hungry march, war’s way
I am called to witness. Struggle to convey
you, three-quarter-formed men. Without lament.
My words. My electronic impulses sent
To you, yours. Your youth. Before it is too late.

I am nothing. I am here. Gone. This is decreed
Witness is my food; not bitter, not sweet
To record, not judge. The bones, flesh, blood-curse
of war. Of spirit, of brother-love I see
hour after hour, cigarette-sweat, your will to be
one, as I am one; left, right, left. This fearsome thirst.


2 Comments (Closed)

Hebridean

Some day someone will write a poem titled ‘ On Lines by SM Steele’.
Very appropriate with Armistice Day almost upon us.

Nov 05 2008 · 05:43

Colin Will

This is excellent S. I like the staccato phrasing, which fits extremely well with the subject. Hope you will want to write more sonnets, if they are as good as this one.
Colin

Nov 05 2008 · 09:06

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The page you're reading contains a single diary entry entitled To Young Infantrymen Training for Afghanistan. It was posted here on November 04, 2008.

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